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What questions to ask re: HS and 2e?

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I'm back again.  :)  I brought up HS to my family today and started asking what reservations there are regarding it (and got the typical responses the general public mentions with HS).  I've been doing a lot of research regarding 2e and PS vs HS while waiting for repeat testing.  I could personally state many HS supportive things I've found but I think they will not be weighed heavily or will be regarded as too subjective.  I suggested to DH to do independent research so that he can find as much objective information as possible regarding his concerns with HS in case we need to make a decision.

 

I'm searching for as broad questions as possible.  Questions anyone researching HS may think of, as well as 2e specific questions.  Questions for independent internet research as well as what we'd be asking the school professionals.  I realize that there will be a wide variety of answers, especially depending on schools/teachers/students, but it's hard to argue with statistics in some cases (see my prior post regarding % of 2e students, etc).

 

Some I thought of or have personally researched are (this is my working list to give to DH for him to research independently):

 

1) How much time do teachers actually teach during the day in a classroom

2) How much time do teachers spend individually with a student

3) how much training do teachers have with giftedness differentiation

4) how much training do teachers have with LD differentiation

5) How much training do teachers have with 2e

6) How much training do gifted teachers have with 2e

7) Rates of 2e students in school and personally experienced by the teacher or the gifted teachers

8) What amounts of students who are "different" feel normal in class (and/or, Do HS children feel they are different being HS vs PS?)

9) How do you advocate for a 2e child?

10) how much research is needed to advocate? 

11) how often do you have to meet regarding advocacy?

12) will the school accommodate if achievement is adequate?

13) will the school accommodate to the student's potential or just to reach minimum standards?

14) will accommodations and remediation in class negate outside school remediation or will there need to be additional after schooling or therapies?

15) Can a HS parent self-test or test students to ensure they are improving or performing at a "standard" level?

16) "What about socialization with HS?"

17) Can a HS student come back to PS if things don't work out (how long do you HS for)?

18) What about summertime schooling/afterschooling/HS/PS?

19) How much time should a child spend in school or doing homework after school?
20) What about HS with other children around (focusing on HS with distractions)?

21) Doesn't a large school in a great neighborhood have the funds and resources to take care of our child?

22) What about alternate PS?

 

 

Can you think of more questions to give to family for them to research?  To be clear, I'm not looking for answers to these questions (at the moment).  Just questions.

 

TIA!

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Can a school--any school--give a 2E child a truly appropriate education?  When a child needs such extreme differentiation (in both directions and frequently for the same task!), is it really possible to provide it in a classroom situation?

 

What does the school consider to be "adequate achievement"?  Is it when the child squeaks into the average range (and where does the average range start?  Is it the 2nd percentile?  The 16th percentile?  The 25th percentile?)?  Or will they continue to remediate until the child's achievement matches his or her ability?  

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I wouldn't approach this so theoretically; it's not really a theoretical question.  Homeschooling is not this homogenous thing that looks the SAME for all people.  Most people don't just hole up in their house and pour over books all day.  They BLEND activities, resources, opportunities, interests, and create their own unique experience.  My homeschooling doesnt look like my SIL's or my friends' but we all homeschool.  So it DEPENDS on where you're at, what your resources are in the community, what your finances are (sorry to be blunt), what your energy level is to implement/supervise/facilitate, etc.

 

So I suggest you get very concrete about those things.

 

-What are your resources in the community?  Co-ops, apprenticeships, homeschool programs run by parks/museums/organizations, mentoring opportunities, support groups to do theatre/fieldtrips/etc, option to take classes part time at a cc/high school/private school/blended program

-What are your finances and how much do things cost?  Online classes, buying books to make up for what you can't get through your library on IRL, etc.

-What is your energy to make this happen?  A homeschooler with lots of motivation can make up for finances with creativity, but if you pair health problems AND low finances AND low resources in the community AND... that can be a challenging situation.

 

The question is not whether it can work, because we already know it can.  The question is what would it be like in YOUR situation and how well would that work for YOUR student.  

 

 

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I get the feeling maybe you and/or your family are in scientific or more data-driven professions?

 

Teaching is both an art and a science since it is people-based. There won't be hard data on time spent and achievement created either in public school or homeschool. It just doesn't work that way. Effort doesn't necessarily equate to achievement or remediation. There are bumps in the road and 2 steps forward, 1 step back experiences. You can put in hours and hours of time and have terrible outcomes due to personal ability and the incorrect type of instruction. You could put in very little time and get a fabulous outcome (although I suspect that is less likely). There are no guarantees for anything. On some level every choice is a risk. With homeschool, you take the risk that this educational placement is the best situation for the child and move forward from there.

 

Researching is smart, but I would go into it knowing that you are likely to come out feeling just as unsure as before because this is just not the kind of decision that can be made clearly with data. :)

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I think you can also compare between the local school options and what your family would do with homeschool.

 

If I think about  myself -- if my son's scores were used to show that public school was successful at remediating his reading problems, I would disagree, I do not think the school did that.  It was a lot from home.  

 

In general -- a lot of kids with good results might be having a private OG tutor, or outside therapy in OT, etc.  But -- on paper it might look like it was due to the public school attendance.  

 

I also think -- my son has a good experience at school.  On paper -- a lot of kids with his characteristics are probably having miserable existences at school, b/c the handwriting, and not having adequate remediation and stuff like that.  But he is having a good experience for a variety of reasons, a lot of which are very personal to him and the school.  And not to be vain, but because I have worked with him so much, too, and followed up on problems. 

 

You could find information about outcomes for children with learning disabilities who do not have adequate support, remediation, and accommodation.  It is not pretty stuff to read.  It is easy to find.  It is not about 2e, but a lot of it might be things that could be true of your son.  The Mislabeled Child has a very poignant section talking about how hard it can be on kids who have poor handwriting and do not have support and understanding at school.  Those are issues that your family member might not be aware of.  

 

I know I got a lot of "but he is so smart" comments from my family, but it was b/c they saw him in areas where he shines.  They did not see him trying to write.  They did not have any idea.  (Really, more with his reading.  With his writing they were more understanding, actually.)

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I get the feeling maybe you and/or your family are in scientific or more data-driven professions?

 

Teaching is both an art and a science since it is people-based. There won't be hard data on time spent and achievement created either in public school or homeschool. It just doesn't work that way. Effort doesn't necessarily equate to achievement or remediation. There are bumps in the road and 2 steps forward, 1 step back experiences. You can put in hours and hours of time and have terrible outcomes due to personal ability and the incorrect type of instruction. You could put in very little time and get a fabulous outcome (although I suspect that is less likely). There are no guarantees for anything. On some level every choice is a risk. With homeschool, you take the risk that this educational placement is the best situation for the child and move forward from there.

 

Researching is smart, but I would go into it knowing that you are likely to come out feeling just as unsure as before because this is just not the kind of decision that can be made clearly with data. :)

Thanks for your post. I do like to research, for knowledge as well as feeling that I've done the best I can to seek out solutions, provide the best thing for my family, etc. We feel a big responsibility to try and make a schooling decision that's the right choice. Maybe it's the right decision for a semester or a year or forever, but at least I feel I did everything I could at the time to be prepared.

 

I found some good stats from the Eides, that 53% of dyslexic gifted students are home schooled, which is pretty large I think.

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For what it's worth....I do appreciate the research and the desire to research. I was able to spend a good amount of time doing research before determining our decision. However, with that said, I will also say that it was not until I went with my "gut feeling" (and not anything I'd read in searching) that led me to the decision that homeschooling was 100% the correct / right choice for us. The research may have helped me trust my gut feeling, but it was there the whole time :) Also, as with most research.....it all depends on how you look at it OR how the authors wanted the readers to perceive the data! (e.g., you say, "wow, this says that 53% of these kids are homeschooled" but.... someone else misght say "yep, 47% of these kids do great (or at least ok) in a public school" )

 

Also.....though I was 100% sure that this was the right decision.....I was incredibly UNSURE as to HOW to go about doing so (curriculum, etc, etc) - particularly with two 2e boys!!! BUT, that's where this forum has been a lifesaver! ;) And, me learning (as we go!!!) to "let go" more and more of what school "should" be and finding out what it "IS" for US! So, with the feeling of contentment with the decision TO homeschool....I decided to just jump in - not really knowing HOW to homeschool - but realizing that we'll figure it out as we go!

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For what it's worth....I do appreciate the research and the desire to research. I was able to spend a good amount of time doing research before determining our decision. However, with that said, I will also say that it was not until I went with my "gut feeling" (and not anything I'd read in searching) that led me to the decision that homeschooling was 100% the correct / right choice for us. The research may have helped me trust my gut feeling, but it was there the whole time :) Also, as with most research.....it all depends on how you look at it OR how the authors wanted the readers to perceive the data! (e.g., you say, "wow, this says that 53% of these kids are homeschooled" but.... someone else misght say "yep, 47% of these kids do great (or at least ok) in a public school" )

 

Also.....though I was 100% sure that this was the right decision.....I was incredibly UNSURE as to HOW to go about doing so (curriculum, etc, etc) - particularly with two 2e boys!!! BUT, that's where this forum has been a lifesaver! ;) And, me learning (as we go!!!) to "let go" more and more of what school "should" be and finding out what it "IS" for US! So, with the feeling of contentment with the decision TO homeschool....I decided to just jump in - not really knowing HOW to homeschool - but realizing that we'll figure it out as we go!

 

Yes I'm already pondering curriculum. At least I know AAR is working for us, keyboarding without tears, and dare I assume AAS would work? We listen to SOTW but it'd be nice to delve into the subjects some with books or projects. Science we both love but I'd like something comprehensive in addition to random projects. HWT, and just fun extracurriculars. Oh, and math. So at least some stuff is figured out :)

 

As for the stats, that's true about the naysayers. With the info I quoted, I think PS had 13%, about 20% were private schools (which I won't pay for unless it's a super cool 2e school. Even then I doubt I'd pay), and the rest were in community college. I don't mind going with my gut but I need as many on board with this as possible if we HS. I'm just really hoping the Neuropsych we use will be favorable to suggest it as she'll be the "professional". 

 

ETA -- the 20% private school was broken into private and alternative schools IIRC.

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Yes I'm already pondering curriculum. At least I know AAR is working for us, keyboarding without tears, and dare I assume AAS would work? We listen to SOTW but it'd be nice to delve into the subjects some with books or projects. Science we both love but I'd like something comprehensive in addition to random projects. HWT, and just fun extracurriculars. Oh, and math. So at least some stuff is figured out :)

 

As for the stats, that's true about the naysayers. With the info I quoted, I think PS had 13%, about 20% were private schools (which I won't pay for unless it's a super cool 2e school. Even then I doubt I'd pay), and the rest were in community college. I don't mind going with my gut but I need as many on board with this as possible if we HS. I'm just really hoping the Neuropsych we use will be favorable to suggest it as she'll be the "professional".

FWIW, while my mom and DH were sort of on board (because they both knew we had to do something quickly for poor DS) the rest of the family and certainly certain friends were NOT on board.  And my mom's brother and some of DH's siblings were really not happy at all.  Part of that unhappiness stemmed from a complete lack of understanding of homeschooling (and doubting if it was even legal).  Part of that unhappiness I believe also came from a feeling that we were rejecting their choice to send their kids to ps.  In other words, from comments made later they apparently thought we were saying we were the better parents because we were choosing to homeschool.  It made them initially defensive.  

 

I did not want issues to build simply because I failed to communicate with the family.  Their unhappiness would not have changed what we were doing but I did want to keep the family from running into long term issues.  I had to be very careful how I explained why we were making the choice we did.   I sent an explanation letter to the family members that we really wanted on board, clearly explaining WHY we were doing what we were doing, what resources we had available as homeschoolers, what social options the kids would have, the general legalities of homeschooling in Texas, etc. and I asked for their patience, understanding and support while we worked out the details.  I was careful not to trash ps in general, but I mentioned specific issues that were causing brick and mortar not to work for my kids in particular, at least at this season in our lives, and what we hoped to accomplish with homeschooling our kids specifically.  I did not make it about a general philosophy I made it about our specific circumstances.  I also linked certain articles that were helpful in explaining homeschooling.  It diffused a lot of issues that were building behind the scenes for most of the family.    

 

Mom and DH attended a homeschooling convention with me, too, right at the beginning, which also helped them both to see just how huge the homeschooling movement is.  Attending some workshops was great, too.

 

Anyway, thought I would mention these things in case it helped you in some way.

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I did not want issues to build simply because I failed to communicate with the family. Their unhappiness would not have changed what we were doing but I did want to keep the family from running into long term issues. I had to be very careful how I explained why we were making the choice we did. I sent an explanation letter to the family members that we really wanted on board, clearly explaining WHY we were doing what we were doing, what resources we had available as homeschoolers, what social options the kids would have, the general legalities of homeschooling in Texas, etc. and I asked for their patience, understanding and support while we worked out the details. I was careful not to trash ps in general, but I mentioned specific issues that were causing brick and mortar not to work for my kids in particular, at least at this season in our lives, and what we hoped to accomplish with homeschooling our kids specifically. I did not make it about a general philosophy I made it about our specific circumstances. I also linked certain articles that were helpful in explaining homeschooling. It diffused a lot of issues that were building behind the scenes for most of the family.

 

Mom and DH attended a homeschooling convention with me, too, right at the beginning, which also helped them both to see just how huge the homeschooling movement is. Attending some workshops was great, too.

 

Anyway, thought I would mention these things in case it helped you in some way.

This is a great heads up. If we HS I'll need to start thinking of how I explain why we chose that method of schooling. Too bad there aren't HS conferences in fall. I think there are a few gifted and LD ones though. And I know of two large HS groups in a local area so that could be a start too.

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When we were considering homeschooling, I'd find research results, general information, and resources on the Internet and print them off to put with my DH's mail.  He wouldn't have gone looking for the info his self, but he would read whatever I'd hand him.  Once he understood the pros and cons, and had an opportunity to realize that kids can really accelerate when homeschooled, it helped him make the decision for it when the time came to pull our guys out of public school.  For my boys, besides remediating dyslexia and other LD issues, one of the biggest 2E benefits was the ability to keep them at home as they accelerated into college work.  My guys had finished their freshman years of college before they got out of high school.  I would not have wanted to send them off to college at 16 or 17 because I don't think they were mature enough to withstand the peer pressure of the college crowd at that age.  By time they graduated from homeschool high school, they had the freshman year of college behind them, which meant they were taking classes with mostly sophomores and juniors in college.  By that time, many of the freshman antics have been left behind. ;-)  We found so many benefits to homeschooling a child with LD issues or who is 2E that I ended up writing a book to share them with other potential homeschoolers.. Being at home lets you uniquely address each of the 2E issues without barriers to academic advancement. ;-) 

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When we were considering homeschooling, I'd find research results, general information, and resources on the Internet and print them off to put with my DH's mail.  He wouldn't have gone looking for the info his self, but he would read whatever I'd hand him.  Once he understood the pros and cons, and had an opportunity to realize that kids can really accelerate when homeschooled, it helped him make the decision for it when the time came to pull our guys out of public school.  For my boys, besides remediating dyslexia and other LD issues, one of the biggest 2E benefits was the ability to keep them at home as they accelerated into college work.  My guys had finished their freshman years of college before they got out of high school.  I would not have wanted to send them off to college at 16 or 17 because I don't think they were mature enough to withstand the peer pressure of the college crowd at that age.  By time they graduated from homeschool high school, they had the freshman year of college behind them, which meant they were taking classes with mostly sophomores and juniors in college.  By that time, many of the freshman antics have been left behind. ;-)  We found so many benefits to homeschooling a child with LD issues or who is 2E that I ended up writing a book to share them with other potential homeschoolers.. Being at home lets you uniquely address each of the 2E issues without barriers to academic advancement. ;-) 

 

Yes, this exactly!  I have been discussing already since PS started that basically we were not going to be able to after school like we're doing for an infinite amount of time.  I have spent more than a month just trying to get across the concepts of how abnormal our day looks like for a young child.  As our testing dates approach I've been trying to get everyone to have at least some basic research behind them so that when it's time to make a decision we don't sit around for another few weeks seeing what will be the best thing or trying out methods that won't work.  I figure it would also help with any special ed meetings.  For instance, if our situation calls for 1 hr special teaching daily and he gets 15 min twice a week or whatever, then we already know going out of that meeting that they will not be able to do what is necessary.  If he needs OT help daily and school offers it once a week for 15 min, then how can we do OT on top of our afterschool schedule also (and I know he needs OT for sure)?

 

Printing out snippets will be very useful.  To hand over a large book is too much, especially when I'm reading many things.  But I am pointing out parts that are important, reading aloud passages that are important, and printing off what I can. 

 

BTW, I put your books into my cart.  :)

 

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Yes, this exactly!  I have been discussing already since PS started that basically we were not going to be able to after school like we're doing for an infinite amount of time.  I have spent more than a month just trying to get across the concepts of how abnormal our day looks like for a young child.  As our testing dates approach I've been trying to get everyone to have at least some basic research behind them so that when it's time to make a decision we don't sit around for another few weeks seeing what will be the best thing or trying out methods that won't work.  I figure it would also help with any special ed meetings.  For instance, if our situation calls for 1 hr special teaching daily and he gets 15 min twice a week or whatever, then we already know going out of that meeting that they will not be able to do what is necessary.  If he needs OT help daily and school offers it once a week for 15 min, then how can we do OT on top of our afterschool schedule also (and I know he needs OT for sure)?

 

Printing out snippets will be very useful.  To hand over a large book is too much, especially when I'm reading many things.  But I am pointing out parts that are important, reading aloud passages that are important, and printing off what I can. 

 

BTW, I put your books into my cart.  :)

 

 
One of the huge problems we found with the PS provisioning was that the amount of time alotted for OT, Reading Resource, etc., includes arrival and departure greeting, putting away and getting out materials, etc. Thus, the actual therapy and instructional time becomes mere minutes when you do a classroom observation of what actually occurs during that time. I was astounded!! Out of a 50-minute reading resource period, my son received 6 minutes of direct instruction. SIX!!! It was NO WONDER he was making zero progress in reading at school.
 
When we pulled our guys out and I made sure my DS got significant, one-on-one instruction in reading daily, he soared.  I felt like we wasted five years of his schooling trying to make PS work.
 
Once we started addressing his needs, and we were able to provide content in alternate formats  (videos, DVDs, computer programs, hands-on), then he began to move forward again with his achievement results.  For every year he was in PS, my son's achievement test results got lower and lower.  He wasn't getting dumber, the school was simply failing to educate him at all across all subjects.  Thankfully, he was still fairly young when we pulled our boys out and we were able to make up for lost time, then soar ahead! :-D
 
LOL! Thank you for putting the books in your cart! The Overcome Your Fear book is an easy read and not too long of a book (it's quite a bit shorter than the other two).  Overcome Your Fear focuses on the pros and cons of homeschooling, particularly for LD or 2E kids. It pulls together all that I unexpectedly discovered when we started homeschooling.  It was one thing to read the research and rhetoric, but a whole different thing to actually live it.  There are many benefits that you don't even realize until you start living the homeschool lifestyle.  If I'd known back then what I know now, I surely wouldn't have hesitated one minute to homeschool!!
 
I will tell you, one of my biggest fears was that I wouldn't be able to teach my boys--that they wouldn't learn or make progress.  I entered homeschooling with the comfort that I couldn't do any WORSE than the PS because my oldest hadn't made any progress or learned to read in five years and his self-esteem was devastated by time we began homeschooling.  However, one reasearch study I quote in my book found that one-on-one teaching is the most important factor for making educational progress for children with LD/attention issues.  The study pitted moms with high school diplomas homeschooling their kids against PS teachers with Master's Degrees in small-group, special ed settings with similar kids.  Guess what?  The kids taught at home by the moms made more progress and were more academically engaged than the kids taught in PS by a teacher with a Master's Degree.  The conclusion was that the one-on-one teaching and NOT teacher training was responsible for the difference in academic progress.  The parents are much more astute at determining whether a child understands the content and is much more focused on that child's learning at that moment, so being more in tune to the child enables the parent to teach the child exactly where the child is. ;-)
 
Shall I come to your house and give my sales pitch for homeschooling to your family? HA HA!! :-D

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What I just posted made me also think of a question to ask.. "How much direct instruction or therapy time is your child actually receiving with the services provided? What is the ratio of time wasted to academically engaged time?"
 

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One of the huge problems we found with the PS provisioning was that the amount of time alotted for OT, Reading Resource, etc., includes arrival and departure greeting, putting away and getting out materials, etc. Thus, the actual therapy and instructional time becomes mere minutes when you do a classroom observation of what actually occurs during that time. I was astounded!! Out of a 50-minute reading resource period, my son received 6 minutes of direct instruction. SIX!!! It was NO WONDER he was making zero progress in reading at school.
 
When we pulled our guys out and I made sure my DS got significant, one-on-one instruction in reading daily, he soared.  I felt like we wasted five years of his schooling trying to make PS work.
 
Once we started addressing his needs, and we were able to provide content in alternate formats  (videos, DVDs, computer programs, hands-on), then he began to move forward again with his achievement results.  For every year he was in PS, my son's achievement test results got lower and lower.  He wasn't getting dumber, the school was simply failing to educate him at all across all subjects.  Thankfully, he was still fairly young when we pulled our boys out and we were able to make up for lost time, then soar ahead! :-D
 
LOL! Thank you for putting the books in your cart! The Overcome Your Fear book is an easy read and not too long of a book (it's quite a bit shorter than the other two).  Overcome Your Fear focuses on the pros and cons of homeschooling, particularly for LD or 2E kids. It pulls together all that I unexpectedly discovered when we started homeschooling.  It was one thing to read the research and rhetoric, but a whole different thing to actually live it.  There are many benefits that you don't even realize until you start living the homeschool lifestyle.  If I'd known back then what I know now, I surely wouldn't have hesitated one minute to homeschool!!
 
I will tell you, one of my biggest fears was that I wouldn't be able to teach my boys--that they wouldn't learn or make progress.  I entered homeschooling with the comfort that I couldn't do any WORSE than the PS because my oldest hadn't made any progress or learned to read in five years and his self-esteem was devastated by time we began homeschooling.  However, one reasearch study I quote in my book found that one-on-one teaching is the most important factor for making educational progress for children with LD/attention issues.  The study pitted moms with high school diplomas homeschooling their kids against PS teachers with Master's Degrees in small-group, special ed settings with similar kids.  Guess what?  The kids taught at home by the moms made more progress and were more academically engaged than the kids taught in PS by a teacher with a Master's Degree.  The conclusion was that the one-on-one teaching and NOT teacher training was responsible for the difference in academic progress.  The parents are much more astute at determining whether a child understands the content and is much more focused on that child's learning at that moment, so being more in tune to the child enables the parent to teach the child exactly where the child is. ;-)
 
Shall I come to your house and give my sales pitch for homeschooling to your family? HA HA!! :-D

 

 

Thank you for sharing your story.  It is very touching.  I would love to get my hands on that article regarding the teaching with LD!  I would love to show that to my family!  My father has dyslexia, and despite all his horrible troubles in school, he thinks PS is beneficial for learning to work in the system.  He doesn't realize how little the PS is actually doing for DS, and on top of it I have to do most of the schooling, at the end of the day, and how little he gets to be a child, how many tears we have, etc.  Anyways...

 

Please come to my house!  Do you live in the southeast US?  :)

 

ETA -- 6 minutes?  Holy moly!  That is just ridiculous!  How were you able to find that out?  Did they let you observe?

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Yes, they let me observe.  I made myself a blank pie chart with five minute slices to correspond to the clock.  I sat in the back corner, observed quietly, and just made notes every five minutes about what the kids were doing, particularly my son.  They spent 10 minutes coming in, hanging up their backpacks, getting their materials, etc. The spent 10 minutes at the end of class putting things away and getting ready to leave.  That left 30 instructional minutes.  

The teacher divided the kids into two groups of three children.  She worked with each group of three for 15 minutes while the other three "read" silently--since it was reading resource, those kids were daydreaming, fiddling with stuff, and looking around.  Since they couldn't yet read, there surely wasn't any reading going on!  

While my DS was working with the teacher and the other two students, she would take turns and explain things, but when it wasn't one of the kids' turns--they were not necessarily listening.  They'd be looking at the other kids, looking at something on the wall, etc. Yep.. Six minutes my son appeared engaged with the instruction. NOT a whole lot of learning going on!

The study article was by Delquadri.. I was able to access the article through a research database provided by our public library system (the Galileo Databae).  I don't recall the precise citation--WAIT!.. Had a thought.. Went and did a screen shot of the References in my book, then uploaded it at my website.  You can see the full citation at: http://learningabledkids.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/delquadri-citation.jpg.

 

The other study by Ensign that is listed is worth reading too. ;-)

 

Yes, I do happen to live in the southeast.. Atlanta area!  :thumbup1: 
 

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I observed my son in pre-school group speech, with a group of 3 kids.  He was always the one who didn't make as much progress as the other kids, so that when she re-did groups, the other 2 kids would leave (or move up) and my son would have two new kids, and those two kids would make progress my son was not making, too.  He worked very hard and had a great attitude.  When other kids move up and he is not moving up at the same time -- teacher may move up to help the other 2 kids, and that time is doing things that may be over my son's head.  I saw this in speech, even though I didn't quite realize it at the time.  One boy in particular was adopted out of foster care and in a ton of therapy and making amazing progress with his parents, he was in every therapy in our town, and doing awesome.  He made great progress when he was in the speech group with my son, my son did not make much progress over the same period of time.  

 

So when I read descriptions on frex the Barton reading website about why they need one-on-one instruction to make the most efficient use of time for kids needing this level of instruction -- it really clicked with me, and I did not feel like I could expect anything different to happen in reading pull-out.  It is not so easy to get one-on-one aide support -- when he got it, it was b/c he was pretty behind (this was in K) and he was the one the teacher picked, out of his whole class, as needing aide support.  I do not like having him being the worst in his class, but that is what it takes to get aide support -- the aides go where the need is greatest.  I am not willing for him (my older son) to be the child with the greatest need, and just get to a point where he is no longer the child with the most need, and have the aide work with the new lowest kid at that point.  B/c that is how it is until about 3rd grade -- and then think how behind kids are.  

 

But OP I am a little skeptical that with your son's strengths he would ever even get one-on-one support or even necessarily get into reading pull-out in an RTI system.  I actually think there is a lot of good about the RTI system.  Is it good enough for me?  No.  It is a not-bad way to allocate resources and make decisions in a public school that necessarily is not going to be able to provide the level of one-on-one that is probably really needed, when there are not enough people?  I think it is.  But I am just skeptical that OP would see any of this, it doesn't sound like her son is that bad.  And -- I say, don't let him get that bad!  

 

That is for reading -- where it can often be remediated with enough time, but does take a lot of time, and without the time will probably not improve.  For handwriting -- I no longer think that there is something my son could do to make his handwriting much better (besides time -- I think he will still improve with maturity), it is a different situation.  I am thinking more of reading here, where I do believe it is possible to remediate for many kids, but a limited ability for schools to do that -- for the most part.  It is not what they are set up to do, in a lot of ways.  If they do -- that is great.  But I really feel like -- I am skeptical OP's son would ever even get any remediation at all in school, even for handwriting, and so it may be like a rhetorical question, since he will probably not qualify anyway.  

 

I could be wrong, and I understand that.  But I think it anyway.  It does not sound to me like he has ever been noticed by his teacher as needing to qualify for pull-out yet, or like the teacher is saying he acts lost, or things like that, that were clues to me that my son was heading in that direction.  It just sounds like -- this child is heading in the direction of -- needs something, but won't qualify for help from school, so may start to get down on himself and dislike school but still stay with his class on the whole and maybe shuffle along.  My son was more heading for --  needs help, and will get stuck in a lower-performing track and fall further and further behind every year.  Speaking of which -- OP, I want to point out that the services may tend to put kids in a track of falling further and further every year, as they accomplish what they can with the amount they are able to cover, but cover less as they are not getting the one-on-one time to be able to move faster ----- not b/c their ability is lower, but b/c they do not get the time they need.  That is really what I think ---- based on my local school district, but it seems like it is a fairly common situation, though not what it is like everywhere.  

 

I just mean -- I think that the kids who are going to actually get these services, may be ones who are already having their parents told "your son is in reading pull-out" or "your son is reading below level and it is a lot below level" and things like that.  You sound more like -- you know it is not how it should be, but teachers might tell you they think he is doing fine.  

 

Just as my impression, though.  It is also a very 2e kind of situation, I think, b/c he is gifted and so his struggling and needing help will not look the same as other kids' struggling and needing help.  He still needs to have his needs met, though.  He is still a very young child and needs to have his needs met and to have good experiences in school.  

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For me, the single most important factor in the decision to homeschool was the child in front of me.  No data sets are going to tell me what is best.  He was (and is) a square peg.  The professionals wanted to shave off those angles, mold him into a round peg so he could fit in the school slot.  That was unacceptable to me in principle.  Why couldn't the school or classroom conform to fit him?   More importantly trying to reshape him was making him utterly miserable.  My bright, eager sponge of a learner shut down during the school year, reemerging during vacation. So, during Christmas break of his 2nd grade year we made the decision to homeschool.

 

I read quite a bit over that Christmas break before making the decision, but the one book that tipped the scales to homeschooling was Family Matters by David Gutterson.  Shoot, I was sold after reading the introduction!!  I strongly suggest you and your dh read it.  The decision to homeschool is yours and yours alone, and there is no reason in the world why anyone else's opinion should matter.   When asked why you homeschool you only need to say "It fits our child".

 

 

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:) I loved reading SandyKC's input!! And, as I said, I appreciate the research and at some point either read the article SandyKC mentioned or one VERY similar to it. The article(s) I read talked about how PS kids score in such and such a percentile on national tests (something like the 50th-70th percentile) whereas HS kids with a (teaching) parent with a highschool diploma score in about 80th percentile and it goes up from there to HS kids with a teaching parent with a Master's degree scoring in about the 87-89th percentile on those same national tests. (very sorry I have no idea what the article actually is to reference for you :(

Also, my boys were not (yet) getting any actual services from PS - because they were not scoring low enough on school stuff (i.e., they could pass, but it was NO WHERE near what their abilities are).

So, since I have my Master's Degree (SLP), I went into homeschooling literally thinking "Gosh, even if I *fail* at this, I can't do any worse than the PS!"  NOt a very positive way to look at it perhaps, but those numbers in conjunction with the actual one-on-one instruction time (or even questioning general classroom actual instruction time vs "other"/wasted time (like changing classes, bathroom breaks for 20+ kids, lunch break for 20+ kids, recess in/out, etc etc)) led me to realize that a (for me) two to one ratio was a MUCH better option :)

 

Oh, and as for family / friends - there will likely always be those who wonder/question/worry; but, likely overtime those closest to you/the situation will begin to understand more and more! In my case, I am pretty sure most people I know just thought I'd lost my mind completely when we decided to homeschool on top of all of my other "crunchiness"!!! LOL!!!

 

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 I went into homeschooling literally thinking "Gosh, even if I *fail* at this, I can't do any worse than the PS!"  NOt a very positive way to look at it perhaps, ...

 

It's a sad statement on public education when you and I, and I'm sure others, come to homeschooling because of that thought.  Knowing it'd be difficult to do worse than the PS was my encouragement during our early homeschool years!

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